Readers’ wildlife photos

January 28, 2023 • 8:15 am

Today’s batch of bird photos comes from reader Paul Edelman, an emeritus professor of law and mathematics at Vanderbilt. Paul’s narrative is indented, and you can enlarge his photos by clicking on them.

  We spent a couple of weeks at the beginning of January in and around Naples, Florida and had a great time birding.  I have two batches for you.  The first is birds that spend most of their time in the trees or air, the second will be on birds who inhabit marsh and shore.  [JAC: stay tuned.] All the photos were taken with my trusty Nikon D500 and Nikkor 500mm f5.6 lens.

On the drive down to Naples we stopped overnight in Ocala, FL and had a chance to do some birding at the Ocala Wetland Recharge Park.  Amazingly, we saw two new birds for us, the Red-headed Woodpecker (Melanerpes erythrocephalus) (is there a more aptly named bird?) and the Orange-crowned Warbler (Oreothlypis celata) (which is decidedly inaptly named, since the orange crown is almost never evident.)  Not a bad way to start the trip.

Red-headed Woodpecker:

Orange-crowned Warbler:

One of our favorite birding sites is the Audobon Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, located northeast of Naples. Here we saw the Black-and-White Warbler (Mniotilta varia), the Blue-headed Vireo (Vireo solitarius) and the White-eyed Vireo (Vireo griseus),  Even better we caught sight of the Short-tailed Hawk  (Buteo brachyurus). The only place in the US to see this hawk is  south Florida and it was another new bird for us.

Black-and-White Warbler:

Blue-headed Vireo:

White-eyed Vireo:

Short-tailed Hawk:

We drove up to another favorite spot, Harns Marsh, which is northeast of Fort Meyers. Mostly we saw shore and marsh birds there, but there is always an abundance of Black Vultures (Coragyps atratus).

Black Vulture:

Finally we went to a new location south of Naples, Eagle Lakes Community Park where we caught a pair of Loggerhead Shrikes (Lanius ludovicianus) hunting from the telephone wires.

Loggerhead Shrikes:

5 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos

  1. Nice. Vireos are supposed to be in Missouri, and maybe they are, but they seem to be masters at avoiding me and my binoculars. Same with most warblers, but I have seen a black and white warbler, once. And where I live, we have turkey vultures, mostly. I did catch sight of two or three black vultures as I drove along a backroad about two years ago, and was pleased as punch to glimpse them ever so briefly. Naturally, I did not have binoculars with me at the time. Birds seem to be aware of that, like they’re taunting me and my mediocre human eyesight. Thanks for sharing.

  2. RWP has taught me that Florida has an immense variety of very cool birds. Thanks for these. The white-eyed vireo was a beauty.

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